The continued expansion of the applications of ionizing radiation in science and technology is resulting in a rapid increase of the number of persons who require knowledge of the principles of protection against the harmful effects of ionizing radiations. This group includes teachers, research workers, technicians, administrators, public health officials, medical practitioners and many other specialist groups. The variety of background, training, and interests of these groups is a reflection of the extent and range of the uses which have been found for ionizing radiation – from the Preface
“Health Physics” is an exact title, with the stress equally divided between both terms. Representing an intersection of the provinces of the physical, biological and environmental sciences, its expanding frontiers will be manned more by a new generation of generalists than by narrowly defined specialists. The present book is an admirably balanced introduction to this field, providing a review of the elements of both atomic physics (requiring only little algebra and lass calculus) and cellular genetics and pathology. The structure of the atom and the mechanics of the fission of the atomic nucleus are made clear for biologists and medical men; the structure of the cell and the mitosis of the cellular nucleus are presented with equal clarity for physical scientists charged with radiation protection.
After a general development of the properties of X-rays, α-rays, β-rays and neutrons, and their interactions with matter, the discussion focuses on radiation dosimetry. Radiation units and dose equivalents are defined, with particular reference to radioisotope and X-ray exposure. The basic standards of protection—including the concept of the maximum permissible does—follow from the investigation of the genetic and somatic effects of ionizing radiation. Protective measures against both internal radio nuclides and external γ-ray sources are treated. Finally, the book closes with a treatment of the design of radioisotope laboratories and radiation measurements and instruments.